By Leif Palmer
High in the mountains of Eastern Tennessee, ice-crusted creeks are beginning to thaw, and the spring runoff is turning quiet streams into rushing torrents of water. Soon, the trout will appear, and for anglers from all over the country, that can only mean one thing: Fishing.
Imagine spending the weekend in the pristine wilderness of the Great Smoky Mountains, just you and your gear. No cell phones, no meetings, and nowhere else to be. The air is filled with the sounds of local wildlife and the scent of spring blossoms, while you watch closely for the glint of a shimmering trout and cast your fly.
Thousands of fish, 20 miles of crystal-clear streams, and $10,000 in cash and prizes. That's what's waiting for you at this year's Spring Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament. This two-day event takes place April 5th and 6th, 2014, and is the largest of its kind in the Smoky Mountains.
Held each spring and fall, this semi-annual event is now in its 15th year, and promises to be a fun-filled weekend for all. Thousands of 3- to 5-pound fish are stocked in the streams and rivers surrounding Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN, ensuring everyone has a chance to land a winner. Local and tourist divisions and categories based on age give all participants an equal opportunity to win a prize, even if you've never fished in the area before.
Kids under 12 will enjoy their own designated fishing areas where they can experience the fun without competing with the grownups. Prizes include cash, with up to $500 being awarded by category, fishing equipment, amusement park passes, and more. All participants are required to have a valid fishing license, and local limits are observed.
Worried about leaving your significant other behind while you spend all day luring fish into your creel? You'll be happy to know there's plenty for the non-fisherman to see and do around Pigeon Forge this spring, as well.
Nature lovers won't have to travel far to enjoy the spectacular views the change of seasons brings to the Smoky Mountains. With thousands of plant and animal species waking up from a long winter nap, the mountains are alive with color and sound. Bargain hunters will want to leave time to shop the area discount malls and arts and crafts shops as well. And history buffs will find plenty to learn at the local museums.
Isn't it about time to put away the winter gear and get ready for spring? Bring your waders and your rod and reel, and prepare to spend some quality time fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. Whatever your skill level, from beginner to pro, you're bound to have a fantastic fishing weekend.
Book your Tennessee cabin today and plan the rest of your stay.
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in east Tennessee. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.